OKLAHOMA CITY - After the abrupt closure of Alfred Angelo stores stunned future brides – and employees – across the country, an Oklahoma seamstress has made it her mission to save as many weddings as she can.
Rose Ellis told KFOR the company dismissed her without notice. "I have people's belongings, their gowns," she said.
Ellis scooped up wedding gowns from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa stores so they wouldn't be locked up behind closed doors.
"I just felt that, with my integrity, I had to do what I could do and, if I'm not getting paid for it, so what, you know? That's par for the course," Ellis said.
She rescued about 75 gowns. Ellis said, on average, alterations are $400, which adds up to $30,000 worth of work she's doing mostly for free.
Now, she's driving back and forth from her Tulsa business to Oklahoma City to get the brides their dress before the big day.
Stephanie Huey bought her bridesmaid dresses at Alfred Angelo and thought she was in the clear from their sudden closure until her maid of honor called.
Huey remembered telling her, "I'm so glad we got our dresses out of there in time, and she said, 'No, actually, we took the dresses back for alterations,' and I didn't realize they had already done that.”
Since the defunct bridal store sends out their alterations, she thought there still might be a way to get them back. "We thought, if the dresses were anywhere other than the store, maybe we could still get them back,” Huey said. Huey's search eventually led her to Ellis, thanks to a post on Facebook.
Huey wanted to help Ellis in any way, so she got her a hotel in Oklahoma City for Ellis to work out of through the monthslong process.
"For her to not only rescue the dresses from the store but also continue to do this work for free," Huey said. "She said these girls paid for altered dresses, and they're going to get altered dresses.”
She also started a GoFundMe page so Ellis can help recoup the costs.
"They're going to get a gown that's going to fit them perfectly even though they paid Alfred Angelo for the work, not the seamstress for the work, they still have a gown they can be happy with," Ellis said.